Florence has once again expanded its bee population with the latest arrival of new urban beehives in the Marienheim Gardens.
Organized by the Bee the Ripple Association, the new collaboration is with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Florence, which provided sponsorship of the hives and a home for their new location. The hives were blessed in the via de’ Serragli gardens by preacher Bettina von Friedolsheim on October 16.
“Respect and care for creation is one of the most important commitments for the Christian community and accepting the Bee the Ripple project with great enthusiasm was a logical consequence,” comments Bettina Schindler, the president of the Lutheran Community. The Evangelical Lutheran Community of Florence is part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy and has had its church on lungarno Torrigiani since 1904, the year of its construction.
These hives have their own unique façade designed by the garden’s resident artist Massimo Giannoni, who painted his hallmark interiors detail with a glimpse of the library. His theme suggests the thoughtful accumulation of books that parallels the patience and commitment of the bees as they build their riches for a common purpose. Giannoni’s theme also extends to the Lutheran Church, which has accumulated hundreds of years of culture and active parishioners of German, Austrian, Swiss and Italian descent of all ages.
Florence is proving to be the ideal place to establish urban beehives. With the Bee the Ripple Association, apiculturists Fior da Fiore have committed themselves to helping the charity to maintain the hives. The first set of hives was launched in 2021 at the Basilica of San Miniato al Monte and has since produced over 30 kilos of honey.
Bee the Ripple Association is an Italian charity formed by Americans Laura Shadden and Allyson Volpe, who have created Lady Ripple Limited, a lifestyle brand with sustainability at its core.